General Background Information
The SB 307 process was begun by Senator John Vasconcellos, CA State Senate District 13, to help preserve the remaining Japantowns in the State of California. Reports to him from the 3 Japantown meetings proved that these three, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose, were indeed the last three remaining clusters of Japanese American culture and community in the nation. While the 3 Japantowns initially undertook an investigation of State funding through Memberís Requests, the emergency sessions and funding needed to curb the energy crisis made Memberís Requests impossible.
However, Sen. Vasconcellos then authored a bill, which, through many revisions, became the bill that was eventually approved by the Governor in October, 2001. The Japantowns became a pilot project for the promise of an important piece of legislation that could be used to preserve other historic ethnic neighborhoods and communities in the State of California as well.
the bill called for $2 million in funding. The funding was reduced through
each committee and finally cut altogether by the Governor at his signature.
However, Governor Davis did direct the Department of Parks and Recreation to
allocate $150,000 to be used by the three Japantowns for the development of
a specific plan and/or implementation of a plan as directed by SB 307. And
he also directed the Japantowns to look to AB 1602 which became Prop 40 on
the March, 2002 California State Ballot for additional funding.
As each of the Japantowns differ in process and community direction depending upon their state of development and agreements between each city and locale, each city is working separately, meeting on a fairly regular basis to keep each other appraised of current status.
Each of the Japantowns did go through, separately, a City Resolution and Dept of Parks and Recreation grant application process however. Plans are being made for the three Japantowns to meet on June 20th in San Francisco for a coordinating workshop which will be facilitated by Bill Sugaya, an historic preservation consultant hired by the Japanese American Leadership Council of California. Each of the three Japantowns has consented to allocate a portion of their SB 307 funds toward these workshops to culminate in the evaluation mandated by SB 307. Diane Matsuda from the State Librarianís office will be working with the project also.
The San Jose Process:
In San Jose, we have the
advantage of having the Redevelopment Agency in a position to help with our
planning process by funding a consultant who will work with the community to
combine all the previous plans for this district by writing a strategy which
will become a part of the specific plan. We also have a designated point
person, Ric Soto-Lopez, for our SB 307 project which has been identified as
policy guidelines for the City Maintenance Yard as a first step in
implementation of the plan for Japantown.
The SB 307 funding is for the production of a specific plan and/or the implementation of such a plan. It is the job of the community committee to define Ďcultural preservationí so that it will be applicable for the next historic ethnic group to apply for funding if possible and add this and other definitions and guidelines to the specific plan of Japantown. The Redevelopment Agency has written a RFQ for a Japantown Strategy with input at each stage by the Japantown Business Association, again acting on behalf of the Japantown community as a Business Improvement District and neighborhood and community advocate.
October 5th, 2002
Japantown Community Congress of San Jose (JCCsj)
SYMPOSIUM held: Oct 6th, 2004
Symposium 1:30pm - 5pm, Reception, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Free and open to the public. RSVP required by October 1st. Paul Osaki at email@example.com)
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